A lot of work with charts after my last flight.
Actually the fun started beforehand. I was doing some circuits with Bob. Finessing my landings. He got in the plane and didn’t really bat an eyelid as I went through the start-up checks and run up. I guess he trusts me to do this on my own now, as I frequently do.
As I held short at the point ATC had asked me to, I happened to notice Bob fiddling with his charts. This instantly evokes a Pavlovian response of fear and dread into me. It’s never a good sign. Then I realised that we were staying local, obviously he was looking up something for his next flight, so I decided to have some fun, “where the heck do you think we’re going?” I ask.
He laughed, “we’re gonna fly some REALLY wide circuits.” He joked.
After the flight we sent some time going over my next planned cross country. I’d done some of the pre planning and wanted some feedback on choices I’d made.
I wasn’t sure how Bob was going to react to something I’d done. The flight is deliberately planned to put you in certain situations. You get very close to Toronto Pearson’s airspace and the routing is tricky, with not a lot in the way of memorable landmarks. I’d looked at this and made a decision. I’d deliberately added an extra bit to my first leg. I’d gone 20 plus miles out of my way to pick an easier route. I wasn’t sure how Bob’d react.
I pulled out my charts, only half joking as I moaned about the fact this trip encompassed two different charts and was more a test of origami than navigation. I hesitantly explained to Bob what I’d done. That this route avoided some of the mess, gave me a very obvious set heading point and gave some fairly identifiable lakes as landmarks.
I waited for his reaction. He pulled out his charts and said “great minds think alike” to show me an identical route drawn on his. “I was curious as to what you’d pick for a set heading point”. We then talked about a few other things, altitude choices and so on.
I felt like I’d passed a massive test, I wasn’t being a wuss, chickening out of a tricky flight. I’d actually made a sensible choice.
I’m slowly starting to believe that I do make good choices on occasion.